Mr_Turquoise

Mobile XM8 App - Alternative?!?

7 posts in this topic

Hey Guys and Girls,

I, as many other, had a smiling and a sad face, while reading the Dev Blog regarding the Mobile XM8 mobile App :-/

If this is the wrong forum just move the tread pls!

Personaly I LOVE the idea of having an App telling you when your base is raded, HOWEVER there are a view issues that I would like to diskuss with you:

1. (The most obvious one) 2.50 € /month for the service. There are several pros and cons on that topic which I read about and all of them have their right to be there. Eventhough I'm a Computer Scientist myself, I don't know about the costs when it comes to that kind of cloud services. Nevertheless 30 €/year for little notification service feels not right from my perspective. [I recomend investigating into ads ...]

2. (The most crucial one) Balancing will be kind of destroyed due to the aspect that about 50% of the playes will have an information, that the other 50% of playes will probably have not! Arma and nearly all arma-related Content is ment for total balance. (Pls no discussion about Marksmen DLC at this point ...) Usually Players log of in their base, completly geard, locked and loaded, rdy to engage, so that kind of information is not to be taken lightly. So the current plan feels like P2W limited to those with an Android Phone ...

NOW, how do we get Point 1 & 2 resolved while still having that very cool Idea of offline-notification?

The idea that came to my mind was an E-Mail Notification System, that basically has simular notification-options, but could be completely independent from charge AND can still be recieved via smartphone/tablet anywhere. The registration could occour via Steam-Email OR an standard email-verification. [Enter E-Mail in XM8 ingame, recieve a code via E-Mail and enter that one in XM8 ...]

Let me know what you think about my Idea!

Greetings Vietnam

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On 6/15/2016 at 6:25 AM, Mr_Turquoise said:

(The most crucial one) Balancing will be kind of destroyed due to the aspect that about 50% of the playes will have an information, that the other 50% of playes will probably have not!

I doubt there will be anywhere near that percentage of sad lonely people sitting around with their phones, waiting for a base attack notice so they can immediately run to their computer and log into the server.

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This was all discussed in the comments section of the DevBlog. I suggested email notifications and Eichi gave his response:

"We have evaluated the email possibility before. 

  1. We expect up to half a million of messages per month. That is not unrealistic. We have 400k players and growing. So it could easily be more. Try to explain global email ban list providers that you have send 100k times the same email. Brilliant.
  2. Also, they will ban your email relay every now and then. This means, that we will have to call them up to unban us. This adds management overhead for us and delay for you. You will not get any emails when our mail server is banned. And unbanning this often takes days.
  3. People can misspell their email addresses. I receive  lot of "Mail delivery failed" emails a day for this forum.
  4. Sending emails costs more than a dedicated server cluster, without all the benefits a dedicated box has!
  5. Most of these emails will end up in a spam or junk folder.
  6. Emails have no security layer in between that we can control. Imagine one server goes rogue and spams the shit out of you. Or better, someone injects malware into the email and fucks you up.
  7. Emails take time to be delivered! Our notifications are time critical. Notifications like "Hey, your base was raided yesterday" is useless.
  8. Storing hundreds of thousands of emails in a database will most likely get it hacked and published on the interwebz. Maintaining a proper security level on top of that is challenging even for this forum. And, you guessed it, that is more $$$ on top.

We have also evaluated the Steam API idea already.

  1. Steam has issues delivering a message when you are logged in on your phone and Desktop at the same time.
  2. Only 2 out of 5 messages were delivered. If your base is raided and you do not get a notification or if your territory expired, because you rely on the reminder and did not get it, you will blame us for a failure in Steam. That is not an option.
  3. And these two messages that arrived where delayed by minutes. Again, alerts are useless if they are delayed.

You obviously think we are extremely dumb and have no idea what we are doing. Thank you for your trust in us."

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23 hours ago, BetterDeadThanZed said:

I doubt there will be anywhere near that percentage of sad lonely people sitting around with their phones, waiting for a base attack notice so they can immediately run to their computer and log into the server.

The issue is not about using the information, but having access to it ... if do not even have the information itself you can not use it. Basically you are cut off from the information so even if you could react on a baseraid, you can't because you didn't even have the information on the first place.

23 hours ago, Mr Sin said:

"We have evaluated the email possibility before. 

  1. ..

We have also evaluated the Steam API idea already.

  1. ...

On the post topic I agree with Eichi, but not on this one!

  1. Some of the e-mail issues are valid, sone are none-sense. First, he makes the assumption of a central E-Mail management system for ALL EXILE SERVERS around the world. Why should your centralize such a system?!? Secondly, I play an online version of the boardgame "Game of Thrones" which uses exactly such an E-Mail Notification system. Of course this system is bigger, but could be decentralized, managed by server-owners ...
  2. I can't argue on steam api, because i have not used it, nor knwing the exact issues

 

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13 minutes ago, Mr_Turquoise said:

The issue is not about using the information, but having access to it ... if do not even have the information itself you can not use it. Basically you are cut off from the information so even if you could react on a baseraid, you can't because you didn't even have the information on the first place.

On the post topic I agree with Eichi, but not on this one!

  1. Some of the e-mail issues are valid, sone are none-sense. First, he makes the assumption of a central E-Mail management system for ALL EXILE SERVERS around the world. Why should your centralize such a system?!? Secondly, I play an online version of the boardgame "Game of Thrones" which uses exactly such an E-Mail Notification system. Of course this system is bigger, but could be decentralized, managed by server-owners ...
  2. I can't argue on steam api, because i have not used it, nor knwing the exact issues

 

You could always set up your own notification system and create your own app. 

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On 15/6/2016 at 0:25 PM, Mr_Turquoise said:

Arma and nearly all arma-related Content is ment for total balance.

:ph34r:

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To be brutally honest, Exile devs have over-engingeered the app.

A simple nodejs express powered server running on the same server as the exile server would have been enough.

Going full push notifications forced the exile developers to choose between amazon SQS, Parse (docker hosted or otherwise) or some other SaaS offering. This is the part where costs are un-avoidable.

However by simply managing expectations down a notch, and utilising a simple ExpressJs websocket server running on the same machine as the game server, this cost could be eliminated.

Taking on centralised infrastructure when you have no proven market demand or even traction is one of the things I've learnt to avoid in the startup world.

The following parts could have been used to decentralise the notifications:

https://bitbucket.org/micovery/sock-rpc
http://expressjs.com/
https://www.npmjs.com/package/express-ws
 

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